The tattva (essence) that defines Sanatana Dharma is Hindutva. But this word has been maligned so much that it is now almost unrecognizable. From being equated to violence to saying that it is the political face of Hinduism, the word is used and misused repeatedly in the media, social media, politics, international affairs and more. In fact, Hindutva has also been equated to the Jihadi movement of Islam and while the oft-used “terrorism has no religion” is thrown casually while protecting the Abrahamic religions, Hindutva obviously refers to the Hindu faith. The time has come to rip apart the ridiculous aspersions cast on Hindutva and the book “Hindutva for the Changing Times” by J. Nandakumar does just that.
J. Nandakumar’s persona goes beyond the organization he’s a part of and therefore it is very important that one reads the book without having any pre-conceived notions about him and Hindu Dharma, if one really wants to understand what Hindutva is. The book itself is a collection of relevant articles published in various print and digital media outlets, in various languages including Malayalam. A Keralite, J Nandakumar has seen the work of communist outfits from close quarters and he knows exactly how they function to destroy the collective memory of our ancient wisdom. Left-liberals have let out the most vicious propaganda trying their level best to show that Sanatana Dharma is not Hindutva and a good Hindu is one who does not support Hindutva.
Very skilfully, J Nandakumar makes us understand how Hinduism as an “ism” falls woefully short of describing what Sanatana Dharma is all about. He rightfully says that “Hindutva” is the correct term to describe the entire Dharmic traditions of our country. The word Dharma itself has its base in the root word “Dhri” which means “to hold together”. He says that Hindutva was never a religion, because while all religions lead one to God, Hindutva seeks Union with the Ultimate Reality. Religion believes in binaries ie. God and Man, while Dharma encompasses the entire creation as One. This dependence on binaries is also the root for communism which restricts itself to being on one side or believing in one idea or being against it, he says. This is exactly what has been the cause of wanton killing of those who stood up against communism or marxism anywhere in the World, including West Bengal and Kerala in Bharat.
The influence of Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda and Guruji on J Nandakumar is visible throughout the book and he quotes them heavily to explain the concept of Hindutva and everything that make Bharata a Rashtra which breathes and lives acceptance and universal love. He demolishes the much quoted allegation that Guruji admired Adolf Hitler and insists that his concept of Hindu Dharma was not exclusivist. My favourite part of the book was where J Nandakumar lays bare the flaws in the secularism of Nehru and the history of Bharat as written by the Leftists. He tears into the flaws in the present education system which has deracinated generations of youngsters from their cultural and historical past. He makes a strong appeal to changing the National Education Policy to decolonize the minds of the future generations and help them reconnect with Bharata, irrespective of the faith they believe in.
Another very interesting aspect of the book is the liberal quoting of Gandhiji and Dr. Ambedkar with respect to various aspects of Hindutva, Islam, conversions and journalism. I had not read about Dr. Ambedkar’s life as a editor or journalist before and was pleasantly surprised. Narratives becoming an important part of reporting are the bane of real news and unfortunately our country has fallen deeply into the narratives woven by a very biased media. J Nandakumar explores this and weaves it with the modes of discussions or dialogues in our Hindu philosophy – Vada, Jalpa and Vitanda – it makes for very interesting reading especially when you relate these to the discussions in our parliament and our TV news studios.
The past of the States of Kerala and Kashmir cannot be separated from the work of two of the great philosophers of Sanatana Dharma, AbhinavaGupta and Adi Shankaracharya. Their work has to be learnt if one wants to understand more deeply all the aspects of Hindutva and Sanatan Dharma. Arthashastra and Dharmarajya have to be understood to be able to spread the Universal philosophy of Hindutva for world peace and prosperity. J Nandakumar expertly talks about this just as well as he talks about the modern problems that Kerala and West Bengal face – a spate of brutal political killings by the marxist parties of Bharat.
J Nandakumar has barely touched upon Savarkar and has spoken glowingly about him through the voice of Mahatma Gandhi. If anyone were to look for controversy on the relationship between the term “Hindutva” and the twisting of Veer Savarkar’s views about “Hindutva”, one would be sorely disappointed. But then I’m nit-picking. This book is an excellent book to gift to youngsters and anyone who is confused about the term “Hindutva” and how one should view it. Without being sermonizing, J Nandakumar has spoken in straight words about the greatness of Sanatan aDharma and why every Bharatiya should be proud to be a part of this heritage.
Hindutva for the Changing Times is published by IndusScrolls Press. The foreword has been given by the very learned Vamadeva Shastri (David Frawley).
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